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Fresh off the needles for a certain newly 21 year old – her request – ♡

Happy week-ending x

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Just off the pins…Bunty Mitts by Ella Austin. you can find them here.

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I wanted to do some Fairisle but not be months on it and these are the perfect sized project and a manageable amount of colours.

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I love them!

This past week I’ve been doing a little screen printing project at home.

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A little zippy bag for my soon-to-be aupairing girl.

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And the time and the weather gave us a chance to get into the garden this long weekend and sort it out a bit- the upside of which is finding flowers once hidden.

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And the opportunity to photograph socks freshly off the needles.

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The Fairisle flower was finished first. You can find it here but I added the toe pattern which has made them a little pointy – elf socks!

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And this wool I bought when Debbie Bliss came to our local knitting shop recently, bringing a discount day with her.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed your long holiday weekend too.

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These were a lot of fun to knit up!

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In my search for an easier life, I figured plants that don’t need watering were the way to go 😉

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Plus, having just finished a cardigan I was ready for something small and quick that didn’t tax my tired brain cells at night and these fit that bill perfectly.

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I found my patterns here and here if you fancy a go yourself.

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We have builders in (hurrah  – new bathroom) but time is never your own when the house is occupied, especially for quiet creative pursuit. However I’m not complaining (we really did need a new bathroom reno) but I am finding time for shorter projects.

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Hello! Today is the first day here that truly feels like Spring. It’s also the first day in a week that I feel well (stupid virus, nothing serious) and maybe it’s a combination of those two things that has prompted me to tidy out my iPhoto library today and come say hello with pictures.

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It’s not that I haven’t been busy creating (apart from last week) but quite the opposite and once there’s too much to say I find it becomes harder to say anything.

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In the last weeks the dresser got Spring cleaned – I found myself picking out yellow and pink china and it snowballed from there.

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I was thrilled to get the opportunity to begin teaching one of the MAC’s adult evening Textile classes (insert whooping and cheering). This has taken me on a journey back in time and a re-birth in skills once learnt and used. I studied all kinds of Textile art for my degree before specialising in Print and it has been really invigorating prepping samples to show the students – here’s some batiking I did inspired by these gorgeous anemones.

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I’m excited to see how teaching this class will develop my own work as these things always have a synergistic effect.

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You know the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” well this couldn’t be truer in the context of me teaching my daughter to crochet. First she knocked out her own gorgeous Granny Square blanket as her first project, then set about a huge Granny Square blanket as a friend’s birthday gift (here’s where I got jealous!) then for Mothers Day she made me this beautiful cushion cover for a pillow on our bed 😍

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And the making = love message has been strong in our house of late as we celebrated a BIG birthday this weekend. We can’t believe our kids are 18 and 20 – where did the time go?

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Lemon and Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with edible flowers for the girl who gave up chocolate for Lent.

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And following the tradition to have a special item to commemorate a landmark birthday like 18, this little pumpkin asked me to knit her a cardi! Ahh…

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It did nearly kill me as it’s the most complex thing I’ve done yet but that’s how you up your skills level isn’t it!

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Here’s a little snap of my Spring inspired work table to leave you with. Hope the sun’s shining where you are.

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Da-dahhh! A break in my artistic output for another creative past-time – it’s an almost headless me sporting me new hand-knit; Madder by Carrie Bostock Hodge.

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My recent stay in b&b accommodation for Patchings meant blissful evenings with nowt to do but please myself; books, knitting, TV, films… aah it was heaven for a few days and so the cardi got finished.

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I started well – it was my first time knitting a whole garment in the round and the stocking stitch turned out beautifully. Then I hit the patterned yoke – I ripped it out four consecutive times which is no mean feat on a circular needle – eventually I had to try to knit it with no distractions, no TV, no chat, no movement, nothing! so I put out a sign saying Do Not Enter (the room) so I could just absolutely concentrate on getting the pattern right (it’s a long way round if you’ve got the stitch count wrong on a circular row!)

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Once I’d done the first repeat pattern section, I wondered what all my fuss had been about and got on easily with the next two repeats. Great pattern, lovely gifted yarn and something I’ll probably wear instead of knitting it and hanging it in the cupboard.

Have a super weekend x

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Happy weekend everybody! I wanted to share something with you today in the hope that it might appeal to you crafty makers out there too.

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I came to hear about Project Linus (Project Linus USAProject Linus UK) through my dear friend who works as a doctor of critically and terminally ill children.

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You remember Linus from the cartoon Snoopy? He’s the inspiration for the name as he was almost always seen with his blue security blanket.

Their vision is to:

 “Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and Afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”

In short to provide a blanket anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.

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Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies etc – read Duncan’s story here but have a tissue ready.

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I have a stupid amount of fabric and yarn stashed away that I will never use up even if I crafted everyday for the rest of my life! And I already have enough blankets and quilts but still love to make them regardless of that. So this was the perfect project for me as I still got to indulge my love of crocheting and quilting, benefitted by slimming my stashes down and got to make something that’s much-needed by someone else.

I used Ikea fleece blankets to make my fabric quilts – it’s a simpler and cheaper way to back them and they are so snuggly.

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And there is nothing I like better than seeing an unappealing tangle of yarn like this…

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magically transformed into a beautiful and useful blanket (and it justified all my tv and film watching!)

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In the UK Project Linus gave away 26,980 items in 2014, their best year yet – I’d love our crafting community to spread the word and maybe make a blanket and help 2015 be even better. And if making something seems too large an endeavour, they also need donations of fabric, money and time.

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If you have been inspired to become a ‘blanketeer’ and you live in the UK you can find out where to donate your handmade blanket here or for the USA here.

Oh hello sad neglected blog – where have I been for the last two weeks I ask myself ? Only two weeks, it feels longer. I’ve had to check the calendar myself to account for the time!

Well working backwards…my most recent distraction has been as chief interview-taxi-driver which paid off as our son got a fabulous job (he’s a chef, now in a great kitchen where he will learn lots and help them get a Michelin star*) That led into preparing, buying, shopping, planning and doing his move out into live-in accommodation (someone pass me the tissue box.)

In reality he’s not actually far from home and we will see him on his days off when he comes back for a rest, some home-cooking and home-comforts (hope he’s reading this!) but that didn’t stop my emotions welling over because it is a punctuation, a mile-stone, a change in family dynamic so it was bitter-sweet to see him off to his next greatest opportunity and miss him in between.

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 I quickly got busy though as I had already planned a Macmillan Cancer Care coffee morning to raise some funds for the work that they do so I had a day to bake the cakes (and dry my moist eyes!) Do you remember the box of teacups I got given last summer? Well I felt that such an unexpected and undeserved gift deserved to be put to some greater good – and I so it was and we raised £100.

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Some where before all that Mr Lurgy stopped by for a short but tiring visit – has to happen in January doesn’t it – British law or something…

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I spent three solid weeks designing some greetings cards and special birthday cards for my agent to take to Spring Fair which was last week – fingers crossed they were successful.

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I cast on for a cardigan for me. It’s been a while since I did anything that was large, or not socks or for me. Last cardigan was a disaster (finished, never worn, stretched just on the hanger and now too large) so I’m a little nervous about this but I’ve researched and measured and am hopeful. That said if any of you out there have knitted this and want to tell me any hints now, then please do, I’m all ears (it’s Sibella by Carrie Bostick Hoge).

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Been pinning quite a lot whilst laid up and found this genius idea – I’m fed up with loosing my iPhone cable down the back of the desk so I ‘made’ one – she is my first employee and I gave her a chair to sit on because it’s a long job, 24/7 and I’m a fair employer you know.

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Ok, I think I’m all about caught up into real-time. Studio has been tidied, admin is done, it’s time to be creative again.

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This is the last of my Christmas knits to show you (not sure why it’s taken 21 days of January to get round to this ?)

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I have the cutest, most super-chilled new nephew ever – he came down on Christmas day in his Santa outfit and melted everyone’s hearts and totally (deservedly) stole the show! This was seconded by the day he wore his Pumpkin outfit for Halloween. So this little guy already has previous in the fashion stakes and I have dared to knit him a jumper!!

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Luckily for me he’s a few months old and this jumper is still way TOO big for him – so hopefully everyone will have forgotten how cute he looks in fancy dress and go gaga for this new ensemble instead 🙂

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